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Literacy Center develops readers

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Before going on a tour of the new Literacy Center, Pomona Unified School District Superintendent Richard Martinez discusses the importance of reading. Martinez’s favorite book as a child was, “The Little Prince.” Interim Director of Public Relations Alisha Rosas and Martinez were given a tour of the new center by Isabella Hernandez, 10, and Diego Hernandez, 9. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held following the tours Sept. 3. The center is located at Park Campus on Arrow Highway near the shuttle lot. / photo by Jolene Nacapuy

Before going on a tour of the new Literacy Center, Pomona Unified School District superintendent Richard Martinez discusses the importance of reading. Martinez’s favorite book as a child was, “The Little Prince.” Interim director of public relations Alisha Rosas and Martinez were given a tour of the new center by Isabella Hernandez, 11, and Diego Hernandez, 8. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was held following the tours Sept. 3. The center is located at Park Campus down Arrow Highway near the shuttle lot. / photo by Jolene Nacapuy

Emily Lau
Editorial Director

Administrators, faculty, alumni and parents celebrated the new location of the University of La Verne Literacy Center Sept. 3 at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The Literacy Center moved from its old location on the corner of Second and E streets more than a year ago, after the University offered a larger location on Arrow Highway.

However, a fire at the new location in September 2014 delayed the official opening of the center.

“There’s much more space, and it’s more comfortable for the parents who leave their children here or stay with them during tutoring,” said Janice Pilgreen, co-director of the Literacy Center. “There’s more room for technology, and plus, we have two classrooms now, so we can have classes going on simultaneously.”

Children wearing bright green shirts offered tours of the center to visitors before the ceremony and led them through classrooms and study rooms.

Those who went on tours received a raffle ticket for a chance to win gift baskets that contained reading supplies.

The ceremony started outside where Provost Jonathan Reed began by acknowledging and thanking the students and center tutors. He then introduced President Devorah Lieberman and invited her to speak.

Lieberman recognized community members, including alumni and administrators, for their hard work and shared her story about a girl she met at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

She then asked co-directors Pilgreen and Sarah Pfenninger to speak about the center.

Literacy Center candidates Angela Cox, Michael Porras, Debra Rodriguez and Cecile Arvizo Villafana each shared their stories about how the center had affected their teaching careers.

“(The center) has helped me to see the passion to develop students to become lifelong readers,” Cox said. “I am now prepared even more to impact the students in my classroom.”

After the speeches, the ceremony concluded with the cutting of a leopard-printed ribbon.

The center was established in 2001 and provides practice for ULV graduate students working toward their reading and language arts specialist credential or reading specialist degree.

Graduate students tutor students in first through 12th grade in reading and language arts to earn credit for their programs.

There are about 50 graduate students currently participating in the program, which allows for one-on-one tutoring with the 50 children enrolled at the center, Pilgreen said.

Rancho Cucamonga resident Sarah Hernandez attended the ceremony with her 10-year-old daughter Isabella and 9-year-old son Diego.

Hernandez enrolled both children in a three-month session after her daughter’s teacher, who graduated from the University, referred her to the Literacy Center.

She said Isabella has auditory processing disorder and struggled with reading before attending classes at the center.

“I have seen improvements in both of them, especially my daughter,” Hernandez said. “I know that when we read at home, she is able to use ‘chunking,’ which is one of the tools they learned here, so she is able to tackle bigger words and attempt chapter books.”

Emily Lau can be reached at emily.lau@laverne.edu.

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